Gestures That Won the Midterms

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I've spoken extensively with Don Khoury, proprietor of Body Language TV, about the role of body language and nonverbal communication in elections. With a 95% success rate in predicting the outcome of this cycle's gubernatorial elections, Khoury recently broke down the winning gestures in several races. Here are his analyses for the gubernatorial contests in California, Ohio, Illinois, and Massachusetts.


California
Jerry Brown (D) def. Meg Whitman (R)

Khoury: "Meg Whitman oscillated far more then Jerry Brown. She did a lot of wringing of her hands and used a lot of insincere facial expressions. There was a lot of shrugging, too: she shrugged four times in their first debate, indicating that she's either unsure of her answer or doesn't care.

"The other interesting thing was Jerry Brown's 'one-two-three' counting on his fingers, showing a level of mental organization. He did this sixteen times; Whitman did it only four times. Brown used humor far more than Whitman, putting the audience at ease.

"Whitman wasn't the right candidate. One interesting thing about Jerry Brown's performance: He was able to be aggressive without being angry with an opposite gender candidate, and that's very difficult to do."

CAlifornia.jpg

Jerry Brown - From the heart.png

Whitman - Unfelt smile.pngAll images courtesy of Don Khoury/Body Language TV

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Jared Keller is a former associate editor for The Atlantic and The Atlantic Wire and has also written for Lapham's Quarterly's Deja Vu blog, National Journal's The Hotline, Boston's Weekly Dig, and Preservation magazine. 

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